Sunday, January 29, 2012

Get the Cell Out ATL Confronts Dekalb School Board

Against Cell Towers at Brockett Elementary in Tucker
 and All Schools in DeKalb County.
CLICK and then JUMP to 41:18 in the video.

(click headline for the full story)
WATCH the November 2011 School Board Meeting and listen to the very intelligent and insightful comments about the cell tower decision.  We have given you the specific points in the video where you can watch these citizens and listen to their pleas before the school board. 

These folks represent a cross section of our entire county - from the North to the South and everywhere in between.  They may have all come from different backgrounds, but they all agreed on one thing - cell towers have no value to our schools and this decision was not supported by the parents or the community. 

Against Cell Towers at Jolly Elementary in Clarkston\and
All Schools in DeKalb CountyCLICK and then JUMP to 13:09 in the video.
DeKalb County taxpayers and voters CAN work together.   People with children of any age and people with no children at all ARE UNITED against cell towers in the middle of residentially zoned neighborhoods without due process of the law.

Literally hundreds of us have now attempted to go through the proper channels.  But, the process keeps changing and we are directed back and forth between departments of the goverment, between the county and the state, between legistaors and school board members, from PTA officers to T-mobile and AT&T. 

We cannot get any answers on timeframes for applications, instructions about the process, our rights to voice our objections, the terms of the existing contracts, the law that the commissioners are stating that the school board is claiming will allow them to bypass our zoning codes.  In fact, there is not even a law on the books that states a four-year board with an Interim Superintendent can approve a contract this lengthy for ANY use of school property.  And there have been legal examples where it is spelled out that proprietary (commercial) use of active school property is NOT permitted. 

Against Cell Towers at MLK High School in Lithonia
and All Schools in DeKalb County.
CLICK and JUMP to 16:40 in the video.
We are reasonable people from every corner of this county.  We cannot speak for every person in the county, but we do know that those invovled directly with Get the Cell Out - Atlanta have not asked for closed door meetings or special favors that would favor one community over another.

We believe cell towers are dangerous and may pose serious health risks to young children.  It does not matter where these children come from or whether or not they have families  who are aware of the dangers.  They are children.  They do not deserve this.  They have a HUMAN RIGHT to be educated in an environment that is as safe and free from industrial health hazards as possible.  No amount of money is worth taking a chance with a child's life.

If these towers go up, and parents find out too late, not only will we be bringing an eyesore to many beautiful residential areas, but we will also force many of the involved parents to make the choice to abandon their neighborhood school. 

Against Cell Towers at Brockett Elementary in Tucker
and All Schools in DeKalb County.
CLICK and JUMP to 43:50 in the video.
If you do not think a cell tower will harm your property values, consider what an abandoned school with a cell tower will do.  If you do not think a cell tower will affect your health or  your child's health, then read about the school in upstate New York where 30% of the students, faculty and staff are battling some form of cancer since the installation of multiple antennas that directly face the side of their school where the classrooms are located.

We are appealing publically to our elected officials and asking for answers on behalf of the children of DeKalb County - all of our children.  The children are the most vulnerable and yet they are the ones that will be placed at greatest risk if this lease of public school property is allowed and these permits are issued. 

A precedence will be set with this decision.  We want it to be the right one.  We ask our leaders to please provide us:  Ethics, Transparency and Accountability. 

Please take the Open Meetings Law an the Open Records Act seriously and allow the people you represent to tell you how they feel, especially on issues that are of controversy and importance like this one!

Against Cell Towers at Briarlake Elementary in North Decatur
and All Schools in DeKalb County.
CLICK and JUMP to 47:08 in the video.
With the announcement today from Cere at DeKalb County School Watch Blog, we have also come to a similar decision.  Due to the enormous personal toll that this attempt to bring the truth to the taxpayers of our county, we will be making some changes to our blog and the style by which it is written.
Get the Cell Out ATL was formed not to FIGHT with our leaders, but to help pick up the slack with regard to the notification of the cell tower proposal to the parents and homeowners whom would be most directly affected.  We had intended to share our own personal research and information in hopes it might assist other families determine what they needed to do if they wanted to oppose the tower planned for their neigborhood, just like we were able to organize our community in support of the removal of the tower at Brockett in Tucker.

Against Cell Towers at All Schools in DeKalb County.
CLICK and JUMP to 57:09 in the video.
Doing the Right Thing
In an effort to be good role models, good neighbors, good parents, good friends, we made it our goal to do what we could to reach out to the 9 schools still on the cell tower list after 3 schools were removed, including ours. 

We spoke up in as many ways as we knew how and with the limited resources we had available to us.  We will continue to speak up in ways that might be meaningful or helpful if it serves the purpose of helping our county unite for the benefit of all children.  We will not participate in events that we believe are intended to favor one school over another. 

That was the entire reason we continued to stay involved even after our school was removed from the list.  We did not want to be a part of an issue that, in our minds, was so clearly wrong for any school and a danger for any child. 

We disclosed every tidbit of advice and every bit of information we had accumulated with anyone from any school that requested our help.  All we asked was that also speak on behalf of all schools because a single cell tower at a single school allows a huge door of opportunity for a presedence to be set that could have devastating consquences for all our schools, all our children and all of our neighborhoods. 

We did not want to be in the middle of controversy.  We did not ask to be victims of retaliation.  We are not "activists" or "fear mongers" and we do not despise technology.  We claim to have all the answers about the political issues, the educational chaos or the many other debates that are a part of our seeminly broken system. 

We do not have political aspirations nor do we even have a clear picture of which people are on which side of whatever imaginary fence that prevents them from working together.


At the heart of this controversy is a very important lesson that I hope parents will try to impress upon their children.  That lesson is:  when you do not understand something, ask questions until you do.  If you do not believe what you are being told, seek the truth for yourself.  If you think there might be a better way to do something - find it.

Reasonable questions deserve reasonable answers.  At the very least, don't our questions deserve to be recognized and acknowledged?  Doesn't it disturb you to hear that someone can sign off on a 30-year lease in this economy without even reading the contract or remembering the terms and clauses that will impact three generations of citizens?






If we have important news updates such as meetings or tower constuction, we will still post here.  But, the commentary and interpretation is the part we will leave up to you. 

  • Please reach out to others. 
  • Tell them about this website. 
  • Decide for yourself if this issue deserves your involvement. 
  • And, please VOTE in your upcoming elections. 
  • And encourage others to vote based on the good of the entire county.

Good Luck!

And, we will still answer questions if we can via email at

You can also read the NEW School Watch Blog 2 at its new home here:

Thinking that wireless
will save you a lot of trouble? 
Think again! 
New fiberoptic wired
networks are replacing wireless
technology in the
classrooms of Canada.
Why?  Because they are
faster and don't expose
to RF radiation dangers.
They also are more
secure and reduce
the liklihood of
computer theft
at schools.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

WHAT will happen next??

(click headline for the full story)

HACKED again, but back online. DANG IT! For how long, we do not know. But thank you for the emails and concerns about whether or not we were still among the living. It is strange to be "dead man walking" simply by being "cut off" from cyber-reality. BUT, we are BACK, yet we are also a bit jaded and cautious at this time. Please read with that in mind.


Here's what we might have to look forward to soon (the tower stuff, not the snow):

Now, back to the HACKING... Guess we should have realized that it isn't very easy to communicate something about a phone company when they control your phone. And you can't really post anything on the Internet if they control that, too. Hmmmm.... what country do we live in again??? Gulp! So, we will play nice and hope that they will let us keep talking a little longer. Sadly, we do not have the funds of the PTA behind our blog to protect us from ... whatever... is out there. Gulp! Anyone who knows if there is a cyber police station or something, please let us know. We are new at this and have no clue about whom we should report such crimes. But, the crimes themselves are already called things like "malicious" so they must be pretty bad!

Rumors in the Brockett community are that a cell tower may be on its way.   And, similar signs have been recognized in the MEDLOCK area as well.  We do not know how or why and under what authority, but a LOT of previously unemployed construction contractors are suddenly happy and back to work. And, a LOT of bucket trucks are being operated these days with only ONE MAN which is not permitted by companies that insure their own employees (because you could get stuck up there). So, that means a lot of contractors are taking some risks and doing some work around town. We hope they are careful as we do not want to see anyone injured during all this mayhem.

Why would Brockett be back on the list? Well, let's not jump ahead of ourselves. But, please, if you live in TUCKER, stay alert!!!

GTCO-ATL has concluded its "work" in trying to alert others on this issue. We have reached the point that we think we can live with the consequences, whatever that may be, and live with ourselves for doing what we could to warn others before they were blindsided like we were. That was our main objective, so essentially we are "out" of the cell tower fight, for now.

We will still have updates here as we are hoping to get involved in more positive measure on a national level that will help pass legislation to protect communities and children from the dangers of RF Radiation and the law-bending ways of the telecomm industry. We don't hate technology, but we do like to have our rights as American citizens at least acknowledged before they are trampled on, don't you? 

We are looking forward to expanding our relationship with The Center for Safer Wireless, so please stick with us as we may soon transition to be bringing you more positive information for how you can use technology safely and be ready to act if your school or neigbhorhood is added to a cell tower list of the future!


Cell towers do not belong in residentially zoned communities. Why bother with zoning laws and regulations in the first place if things like this are going to happen anyway? Why do we even need our DeKalb County Planning Department if they will, in their own words, just "rubber stamp" something that is approved in a "back room deal" (a.k.a. an "Administratvie Permit).

Remember, county political zones have changed. You may have NEW people to complain to, so get on the phone! Or email.  Or write letters.  OR all of the above.  You cannot be represented if they don't know how you feel. 

And, if your school was taken OFF the list... do not expect that you are in the clear. If your school is ON a list now, don't give up. Use the Briarlake protest as an example of how you, too, can make a lot of noise and get people to listen. Time will tell if they are getting a tower or not, but they are at least getting some people to listen and that's a good first step.

If you live near Briarlake in the "Breckenridge Community," an important meeting is being advertised for you:

SUNDAY, JAN. 29 - at 4 p.m.
Briarlake Baptist Church
3715 LaVista Road
"Park in back and follow the signs"

On the panel you may hear from members of the community (which may or may not include a member of the school board), one or more people associated with the PTA, the county's tax commissioner Jeff Rader and several "experts" (aka T-mobile folks who will tell you that everything will be alright). We suggest you pass on the Kool-Aid if it is being passed around. (kidding, of course.) No mention of No Tower Briarlake, LLC or NoBriarlakeTower, LLC depending on which press release or site you choose to try to follow, but "they" will likely be a part of the hoopla as well along with their very talented and professional photographer, graphic design team, PR machine, publicist, web designers and spin doctors who will tell us all what happened after the fact.

If you live in Lithonia, there will be a Town Hall meeting:
February 11, 2012, from 1 - 3 p.m. DETAILS TO COME. 
Anyone in the county is invited to attend, unlike the prior meeting which is advertised as exclusive, but will have to allow anyone if they allow the media (that makes it a "public meeting" by law).  We will be peeking in the window if they don't invite us in as we just want to know what they are going to get so we can ask for it, too!!  (joking)

This is being held by CHASE, a group of citizens and healthcare professionals who are very well organized and informed on several issues affecting our quality of life in DeKalb County. We appreciate their taking a look at cell towers and helping educate others about this topic!

And, if you are reading this only because you don't like us, please do not hack us.  We are just trying to be good citizens and we also need our computers for other things....  Thank you!

Would You Give Your Right Hand for Your IPAD? Literally?

(click headline to read full story)  1/28/12

According to the New York Times, workers at a factory in Shenzhen, China, owned by Foxconn (a company that manufactures iPhones, iPads and other devices for Apple) regularly work sixteen-hour, seven-day work weeks.
They stand until their legs swell and they can’t walk, and they perform repetitive motions on the production line for so long that some permanently lose the use of their hands. To cut costs, managers make workers use cheap chemicals that cause neurological damage. There has been a rash of suicides at the Foxconn plant, and 300 workers recently threatened to jump off the roof over a safety and pay dispute.
In short, as one former Apple executive told the New York Times, "Most people would be really disturbed if they saw where their iPhone comes from."

Friday, January 27, 2012

It's Good to be Loved

(click headline for the full story)

Update:  As of 2/20/12 we are about to hit the 10,000 mark for number of page views on our site since we first started it in September 2011.  Thank you for following this important issue and letting us help educate the communities affected with the best information we have been able to find, summarize and post for you here!  Please check the Events tab at the top of the Home page for the upcoming events where you can get involved and help us make a difference for the sake of ALL our children throughout DeKalb County and the state of Georgia!

GTCO-ATL stats (all-time) by country, in case anyone is curious.  Our FB page is doing well, too, even though we have been out of commission for a short while.  We appreciate the followers sticking with us and promise to update you on whatever new things we find out for as long as we are able to remain involved.  Remember, we are NOT activists.  This is an issue that was placed into our laps for no good reason.  Everywhere we went to get answers ended up giving us more questions and a lot of conflicting stories. 

That is how this blog was formed and why we are still trying to get someone to explain this mess to us and everyone else who will be affected.  A simple, truthful answer would have been all it took from the beginning.  But, it started, for us with a misleading flyer that gave us no choice but to try to understand the reasons behind these decisions ourselves.  And, if you have any ideas yourself, please comment on any of our blogs as subjective therories are not scoffed at as they are truly all we have to go on.  And that goes for any of us - if you are reading this with mild curiosity, start from the beginning and work your way up.  Soon you will see that the only people smiling are the ones who don't realize that if it happens to us, it will soon be happening to you. 

And, please, if you have not already done so, you can still sign the petition and add your comments at  It is countywide opposition to this issue which should concern all of us for the sake of the children. 

All other agendas aside, we cannot do this to them.  They need the adults to act like responsible people and consider whether this whole thing is really what is best for them.  If you don't know the answer, you shouldn't be in favor of cell towers at schools.  We don't want towers near our homes or kids.  We don't mind them in the areas that are already zoned for them... or vacant lots.  We don't want these big businesses to push us around.  They should pay their taxes like we do.  They should use their own electricity and mess up their own roads.  Why should we have to pay for their nuisance and then pay the outrageous cost of a phone system that does not even require an infrastructure for them to maintain?  It's wireless, remember??  It should cost us LESS, not MORE!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Annoymous Tips - More Towers to Come SOON!

(click headline to read full text of article.)  Unconfirmed right now, but the communites near Brockett Elementary School in Tucker and Sagamore Hills Elementary School in Atlanta should be alerted that they may be next on the cell tower hit list!

It has been reported annoymously that there are more cell tower sites being prepared right now with the majority of the schools and their communities completely unaware.  Rumors in the Brockett Elementary neighborhood in Tucker have turned up reports of ATT vehicles on every street at various times of the day.

Is the board retailiating against the community for speaking up instead of shutting up after their school was removed from the list? 

Some residents believe a cell tower build may be attempted and therefore anyone who hears such a rumor should contact their county officials to inquire about building permits on file.  If this is the case, we hope the neighborhoods can stick together and speak up for themselves.  But, is there anyone who will listen and take action to protect them?  The dead ends of this process have proven to be more frustrating than having to wait on hold for 30 minutes before ATT answers its helpline for DSL! 

It has also been rumored that M.L. King High School may soon receive a second tower, this one from Verizon Wireless.  Will this maddness ever stop?  Our schools, our homes, our property, our reputations, our hope for the future - it still isn't enough?  They want to take our last dollar and our lives, too, and they probably do not even need to have an Open Meeting to make that call either.

To review the Georgia Open Meetings Act, go here: 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Minority Groups Really, Really, Love Telecom Consolidation! (NOT!)

(click headline for the full story)
(ATT Rolls Out Astroturf to Push for T-Mobile Deal)
by Karl Bode Tuesday 12-Apr-2011
Reprinted with permission

One of the most effective ways the
phone companies have gotten what they want politically over the years is to fake the fact that they have consumer support for often anti-consumer policies. This is done via PR, farmed think tank science, hired bloggers (who don't allow comments), fake consumer groups and astroturf (fake grass roots) campaigns. Such efforts can make it appear that anti-consumer positions -- such as the elimination of consumer protection laws -- have broad consumer support. Another tool at their disposal is the "co-opting" of existing groups. Groups receive significant sums of money from these providers, and regurgitate their positions on political matters as a favor.

Randall Stephenson, CEO and president of ATT,
and Rene Obermann, CEO of Deutsche Telekom AG

With their bottomless lobbying budget ATT is the largest player in this shady space, over the years using phony consumer groups to cheer for metered billing, or senior citizens groups (run by ex bell marketing execs) to fight against network neutrality (the process by which all information on the Internet is delivered at the same speed, regardless of which service provider you use to access the web). They can also take the form of a phony opposition group, or infiltrate a real one, with the intention to make a lot of noise in order to drown out the voices of true opposition groups, then leading the opposition down a dead end, and stopping members from taking action independent from the group as they believe they are being represented well.

With ATT's proposed acquisition of T-Mobile immensely unpopular, it's not surprising to see
ATT firing up their disinformation engine to try and pretend the deal has broad support. That has involved ATT using groups like The Hispanic Institute whose website suggests they simply adore less competition in the wireless space:
“The proposed merger of ATT and T-Mobile will move us closer to universal mobile broadband deployment. When we consider how essential mobile technology is to empowering communities, we conclude that this proposal is good for Hispanic creates an opportunity to harness and support America’s innovation economy. Moreover, it provides an opportunity to amplify the growth in mobile broadband adoption by both English and Spanish speaking Americans.”
You'll find very similar gushing for the deal by the Latino Coalition:
“The proposed merger of ATT and T-Mobile holds great promise for all Americans, and especially those of Hispanic heritage.”

The similarity in language is, of course, because these groups are being told what to say by ATT. One DC insider informs us that rumblings on K Street suggest ATT had called every civil rights group in the United States for support within fifteen minutes of the deal being announced. Fearful of losing ATT donations -- most of these groups quickly got to parroting prepared ATT statements, unconcerned about the actual impact of a T-Mobile deal. Getting funding for a new events center apparently dulls any ethical pangs felt using your organization as a hired stage prop.

As we've noted, ATT's acquisition of T-Mobile does virtually none of what ATT suggests it will accomplish, has little to no impact on national next-generation wireless deployment, and aside from satisfying ATT's desire for relentless acquisition and expansion -- offers few if any benefits to anyone -- especially consumers.

What the deal will do is reduce competition, raise prices and degrade the quality of service for T-Mobile users, something any real Latino or minority group worth its salt would find runs contrary to their constituents' best interests.

GLAAD Drops Support For ATT Deal With T-Mobile After Activists Speak Up

Sarah Lai Stirland

The Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD,) reversed its support for ATT’s proposed merger with T-Mobile Wednesday after its initial endorsement of the deal caused an uproar within its own community.

“A rigorous review process considered GLAAD’s unique mission and concluded that while ATT has a strong record of support for the LGBT community, the explanation used to support this particular merger was not sufficiently consistent with GLAAD’s work to advocate for positive and culture-changing LGBT stories and images in the media,” said Mike Thompson, GLAAD’s Acting President in a Wednesday press statement.

Thompson sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission Wednesday after an initial supportive May missive from his predecessor Jarrett Barrios.

That letter caused a firestorm of controversy within the activist community, members of whom believed that GLAAD had been bought off by AT&T’s charitable donations.

POLITICO reported early June that GLAAD had received $50,000 from ATT. It also noted that many other non-profit groups supporting the merger had received money from the telecommunications company.


when will you start supporting the merger, and how much did you cost?

I would have a high sell out price myself, but i don't run a website or anything, so i won't get any offers.

how does one get hired as a corporate shill, i wonder?


have they ever approached this website with an offer? i'd be curious how much they have hinted at before being told to pack sand.


Even someone in kindergarten could figure out that taking away competition brings nobody closer to so-called universal or near universal broadband. Verizon will get there all by itself whether the merger occurs or not. Besides what difference does it make if T-Mobile plus AT&T equals 100 percent coverage or AT&T (after gobbling up T-Mobile) on its own equals 100 percent. 100 is 100 no matter how many companies are involved. There is absolutely no logic to AT&T's position and it gives me a headache thinking about the shills who support it.


Jonesboro, AR Re: Dumb

But we are dealing with pre-K minds in CONgress.

__________________________________________________ Re: Dumb

pro is the opposite of con, thus congress is the opposite of progress.

said by mtech:But we are dealing with pre-K minds in CONgress.



What AT&T means is universal higher prices!

Once the merger takes place what an excellent opportunity for AT&T to conspire with Verizon to raise prices. By the way why hasn't any government regulator asked why the contractual prices both carriers charge are basically the same.


Re: What AT&T means is universal higher prices!

said by Mr Matt:contractual prices both carriers charge are basically the same.

Because it's not.

The base plans might appear to be the same but when you factor in the differences between them (rollover for AT&T, friends and family for Verizon, mobile to mobile for each carrier) the actual per-minute cost you wind up paying will vary depending on your needs and usage.

Nor do they charge the same for data since the last time I checked Verizon still has unlimited plans for smartphones and AT&T doesn't.


payoffs take away our rights to at&t

So att can payoff everyone in usa. Well bottom line is they sold off their rights to company that bite you later. HOPE ALL THE SELL OUT GROUPS ENJOY THE PRICE THEY HAVE TO PAY FOR SERVICE LATER. THANKS for how you treat your follow poor and middle class to not being able to pay att service later. Hope you calls drops like the do now forever guys.


Marietta, GA I really have been shocked at the dishonestly

that AT&T has used . The Latino support media blitz was a real eye opener . The headlines that went to multiple sources never really said anything about supporting the merger . It had catch phrases like it " recognizes " the positive this or that . This merger would hurt Latinos maybe more than any other group . A GSM standard seems like it would benefit them more than any other group . I wonder what the fringe latino groups got just for letting their name be used ? The other blitz I noticed was how it is able to roll out the " most advanced mobile broadband experience" to this city or that city due to this merger . Thus the merger is good for you . I never really noticed the lengths a company would go though to deceive from the CEO down. Just really evil stuff . Everyone will pay more if this merger goes through indeed . Just really shocked at how this merger has grabbed my attention . It almost has a good vs evil feel.


Hello! That's why AT&T is a.k.a. "The Death Star". Just look at their logo


AT&T is right! If they control all the pipes they can spoon feed us via walled gardens/portals.

It will be a more open internet, because it'll be their version of it

Welcome to the future!


Why do members of minority groups allow for other groups, which may or may not hold their individual interests at heart, to speak for them? Why do these organizations get to be allowed to "state" with what "everyone" in that particular minority group is "supposed" to be thinking?


"Net Neutrality" zealots - the people you can thank for your capped Internet service.


Re: You Know

said by pnh102:Why do members of minority groups allow for other groups, which may or may not hold their individual interests at heart, to speak for them?

There are many rea$on$ why any group, minority or not, allow corporation$ to $uggest talking point$ to them. Merger or no merger, The Hispanic Institute and The Latino Coalition aren't really directly affected. $o if they pro$titute them$elve$ as corporate mouthpiece$, they really don't hurt their member$hip on way or another.


Hazelwood, MO I guess it is the same reason in that a corporation gets to speak for its stock holders and make it's (current board) political opinions known.

Lets ignore the fact that not every stock owner of the company is even a US citizen having US voting rights (thus should not have any say) and every US owner already has a vote and is able to speak on their own with their own donations.


If you can't convince 'em, confuse 'em


said by pnh102:Why do members of minority groups allow for other groups, which may or may not hold their individual interests at heart, to speak for them? Why do these organizations get to be allowed to "state" with what "everyone" in that particular minority group is "supposed" to be thinking?

They get to do it, because in the US it has been legal forever to sell your support to anyone you want to. I am sure they all see it as getting a piece of the corporate pie any way they can. Can't get good jobs in these companies like AT&T & Verizon, so take a payoff instead. At least they get something.


At the end of the day, GREEN is the only color that counts

AT&T has the cash to buy comments from consumer groups, bloggers and so-called minority groups. When you think it is a black and white issue, simply follow the money trail and you will see it is really a GREEN issue. The question that AT&T asks is how much green can we get?


A citizen of The United States of Amnesia. How quickly we forget.


kudos:2 Wow, SOMEONE doesn't like AT&T

As a T-Mobile customer I'm not thrilled about the takeover, but could this writing be any more biased and


Re: Wow, SOMEONE doesn't like AT&T

said by quatrix:As a T-Mobile customer I'm not thrilled about the takeover, but could this writing be any more biased and inciting?


Oh hey you must be new here.


kudos:4 i HATE T not because its "cool to hate at&t" but because of years of crap service.

The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese


Mobile, AL makes me sick

It makes me sick to send AT&T my hard earned money every month. Their dishonesty is enough for me to switch carriers. When VZW deploys LTE in my market I'm gone.


I am just wondering if they are buying T-Mobile as a band-aid solution to their broken network and they will just let it fall into further disrepair once the two networks are merged.

__________________________________________________·Verizon FiOS

how abouts that astro turf:

at&t's new salespitch men: Mit Romney and (J.J.) Jimmie Walker...


After you become an AT&T customer, you will feel like Florida Evans:



A citizen of The United States of Amnesia. How quickly we forget.

permalink · 2011-04-13 11:36:22


AT&T... really? Smart people can already figure out this is a good thing, as long as the FCC puts some conditions on it.... why the need for astroturf? It just makes you look bad, AT&T.

It doesn't really affect different groups particularly differently, if anything the affects are different urban vs. suburban/rural, but urban T-Mobile customers have the most to gain, although AT&T customers have a lot to gain too.


Marietta, GA Re: oooookay

I'm an urban T-Mo customer & the only thing I feel that will be gained is the size of my bill . I have what I want , a GSM phone with stellar rates & great service . A T-Mo customer will not come out ahead . The astroturf & AT&T's refusal to guarantee our rates while continually bring up that rates in theory should be dropping is just validation that in the end we will be getting hamered in this deal .


Re: oooookay

Why do you think you are entitled to cut-rate prices when you will gain the amazing coverage and superior building penetration of AT&T Mobility's nationwide network?

Rates per se won't drop, but rates relative to the speed, coverage, and quality of service have dropped significantly and will continue to drop in the future.

AT&T shouldn't rate guarantee Magenta SIMs just like they didn't for Blue SIMs. If you want a new phone, you should have to get an Orange SIM and an Orange plan. However, I would also say that AT&T should be required to unlock your Magenta devices so that they can work on Orange as a backup phone or whatever. Even 3G devices will work fine on EDGE post-AWS 3G.


Also, Orange plans have Rollover, A-List (which T-Mobile ironically invented and then killed with MyFaves), and AnyMobile, while Magenta plans don't.


I think they should clean out all the legacy as quickly as possible. And if that means losing our 850 minute legacy Orange plan too, that's fine. AnyMobile would probably even it out with the current 700 minute plan anyways.


Marietta, GA Re: oooookay

I think I'm entitled to keep my plan . I have fine coverage & speed right now . Why do YOU and AT&T feel entitled to buy the company I do business with ? Entitled ? If AT&T didn't feel so entitled they wouldn't have to buy out the only national GSM competition . They would work on their infrastructure & have real customer service not telemarketers . But they do feel entitled . Thats why they are sending another wave of lobbyists to Washington right now as I type . I guess we will see if anti trust still exists . What makes you sure this merger will benefit you ?


You're entitled to keep it for the remainder of your contract OR to be let out of your contract. I've had great customer service experiences at Corporate stores, better than the rest of the sleazeballs out there who sell cell phones.

I get more coverage. I get more efficiency. I get more spectrum. I get more capacity. I get more cell sites. I get more backhaul. I get a larger selection of phones. I get better competition since it throws the current duopoly off balance.

AT&T already has the best coverage and the fastest data of the two carriers, this is just going to make them even more awesome. Now Verizon will be in the position AT&T was in a few years back with a newer, faster technology, but more limited coverage, except that AT&T has built out blazing-fast 3G to virtually everywhere anyone goes (even though it is still less than probably 40% of the network land area wise).


Re: oooookay

Keep gorging on that corporate kool-aid. How does the elimination of competition bring better competition? AT&T may do some nice things to keep the FCC off their backs but once the deal is given the PASS stamp the real raping will begin.

More capacity, more spectrum? Faster data rates? So you can hit the draconian 2GB limit faster? Coverage is debatable, since you have done nothing to back up your claim that AT&T+T-mo will actually have any significant increase in coverage, since we don't know how much of it actually overlaps.


Marietta, GA It doesn't benefit AT&T or T-Mobile customers to have only one GSM provider . You seem to be suggesting that by having less competition you are getting more . I suspect unfortunately that this merger will go through . I more than suspect AT&T won't come out of this looking good . AT&T's unpopularity after this takeover might do more to " throw the current duopoly off balance " than anything else . 10's of millions of TMO customers are livid about this merger & there is growing sentiment that this falls under anti-trust .


Jackson, MI BiggA has a Verizon phone. He just wants the deal to go through so your service can go down in flames. Now that I think about it, so do I.



It brings better competition two ways:

1. Most people need a carrier with a true nationwide network, and low-band spectrum. There are two of those. This throws the duopoly, which is near deadlock now, and has been for years, completely off balance.

2. Sprint and T-Mobile are scraping at too small of a market to both be financially sustainable and build out a world-class 4G network. Now Sprint will be able to sweep up the lower-cost less coverage market while AT&T and Verizon duke it out at the top.

More spectrum and more tower both equal more capacity. This is fundamental and basic to wireless services.

The coverage boosts are all in urban areas, where they don't have the same tower sites. They will end up with a lot more tower sites.
It probably won't help on street, but in-building will increase a lot. Out in more suburban/rural areas, it won't help AT&T very much, although T-Mobile has been more aggressive in the last couple of years in building new towers, and does have a number of sites that AT&T hasn't gotten on yet.

What you people don't get is that NO ONE CARES about the whole GSM vs. CDMA thing. 95% of people don't KNOW THE DIFFERENCE, and even then, most people buy a phone from their carrier, AND there are VERY FEW phones that currently have both AWS and NAM. I know that all of my phones are NAM only, so they are effectively locked to AT&T in the US.

Correction: 10's of T-Mobile customers are livid. There's somehow still a lot of people who don't know this is going on, and after that, the majority either support it or don't really care.

This is NOT anti-trust. HOWEVER, I hope that the FCC puts some strict rules on ALL of T-Mobile's spectrum (which would basically carry over to AT&T's since the networks and spectrum will be combined and managed as one) about overage fees, bill monitoring, allowing SIM cards in any device and allowing tethering, open application access on platforms that support it (Android), and the like. This would be a win for everyone involved, and usher in even better mobile services.


If this merger is approved, I'll will be either dropping service completely or, dare I say it, switch to Sprint or __________________________________________________ What ignorance

There's an old name that keeps ringing in my head ..."Ma Bell" seems like we're taking several steps backwards. I'm all for competition. With competition, we the users can benefit from cheaper services. If we only had one company offering telecom do you really think rates would be so affordable? with T-mobile gone, the only other major carriers up for grabs will be Sprint and US cellular. We keep going on this path all we will have is VZ and ATT, their argument, we can't compete because they are bigger...common when does this stop. In the meantime most people forget that the way of the merger means less jobs. When did we start preaching comptetition isn't good?


New Jersey

kudos:1 maybe 100 % consoliation ?

Have ATT merge with Verizon and Sprint, and all the others. Of course data access prices would drop ? - sarc !


Shallow Astroturfing (The So-called Precusor Blog)

I just tried six times to post the following message on the Precursor Blog by Scott Cleland (

"I used to live in the UAE which had a single state run phone company (Etisilat). When the World Trade Organization required competition, they created a second primarily state owned phone company (Du) and nothing changed. ATT and Verizon may compete, but they generally march in lock step thereby denying customer choice. They are essentially our version of the UAE companies mentioned above. Canada has three large providers (Bell, Rogers, and Telus), but Canada found that there was inadequate competition and pried the doors open for new competitors Wind and Public who are shaking things up. A duopoly is very much the same as a monopoly. While your position is well argued, I just don't see it."

As the poster of the original article correctly noted, the precusor blog appears to be deliberately rigged to stop posting while maintaining the appearance that posting is permitted. Everytime I tried to post to the blog, Mr. Cleland's blog said I was not filling out the captcha correctly or that I wasn't hearing the audio captcha correctly.

I hope people who are searching for articles to get a sense of public opinion about the proposed ATT and TMobile merger do not regard Mr. Cleland's views is representatives or accepted because no one has "chosen" to put a post up on his "precusor blog."



Miami, FL Re: Shallow Astroturfing (The So-called Precusor Blog)

You mean the Google is the most evil company in America blog?

Scott doesn't care about the truth. Just that his checks from the telecomunication companies keeps rolling in.


kudos:29 Re: Shallow Astroturfing (The So-called Precusor Blog)

The frightening thing is he continues to be called before Congress as an objective and independent sector analyst.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Do they really think MORE cell towers will solve the problem?

(click headline for the full story)
Georgia AFTER ...
Note the entire area of Atlanta is solid in color from all the cell towers. 
The worst part?  This map is from 2005! 
Map reprinted with permission from

Georgia BEFORE

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Delivery of Petition: DEADLINE EXTENDED: SIGN BY MIDNIGHT on Jan. 11, 2012

If you have comments or specific conerns about the cell tower planned for your school or community, please sign the countywide petition as soon as possible.

The link is at the top left of this website.

Your comments will be included and your name is allowed to remain annoymous online (as well as all your contact details).

The comments of all communities will be compiled and delivered to all the parties at T-mobile, the school board and our local and state government who have input into this process.

NOTE: Even if your comments do not stop the tower, you may still have the right for your specific concerns to be addressed before the construction can begin.

If you or anyone you know needs convincing about the dangers of cell phone use, please watch this video, and spend some time researhing this topic on your own. There are many precautions you can take to reduce the radiation you and your family are exposed to on a daily basis. It is worth a little extra time to learn what you can so you can make informed choices about how to stand up for your own rights and the rights of others.

Industry research is a one-sided story. You need to hear the opposing side - those with loved ones who have suffered as a result of what can only be attributed to cell phones or cell towers. Remember, many cases are still tied up in litigation and the victims cannot discuss the topic until a decision has been reached. Many cases have been settled already and the litigants are bound to a gag-order as part of the judgment award. There is still a report from the World Health Organization scheduled for 2012 release.

Do not lose sight that Amerian citizens have more rights than businesses, unless we agree to give them up.


First "Due Diligence" Period Expected to End Thursday

(click headline for the full story)  If you have any objections to a cell tower slated to go up at your child's school, it is best that you get those objections into writing and into the hands of the DeKalb County Director of Planning or the Director of Public Works before this Thursday, January 12.

Jan. 7 protest of T-mobile by Dekalb residents and parents
highlights the unethical business practices of the company
that has been approved to build cell towers at 9 public schools
against the wishes of community and without proper
notification of the taxpayers.
GTCO-ATL speculates that the end of the first due diligence period for T-mobile could be THIS THURSDAY, January 12, 2012!!! This will be six months from the day the contract was expected to be signed (July 12, 2011). And, that means one of two things can occur next at these sites: a 6 month extention on the due diligence period OR construction of the eavesments or actual tower will begin.

Any affected community needs to be prepared to photograh any signs of construction if you ever wish to claim that the tower will have a visual impact on your view from your home. And, if you were not properly notified, you can file a temporary restraining order quickly to stop the work before it is too late.

This worked in Cobb County and can buy you anywhere from 30 - 90 days to consult with an attorney.  If you have specific questions, please email and we will do our best to help you find the answers.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Special Administrative Permit in DeKalb County Means No Need to Notify the Public

(click headline for the full story)

Contact the Director of Public Works,
in writing and by phone to oppose  the use of
the Special Administrative Permit
for our school cell towers!
Demand Transparency!  Demand Accountabilitty! 
Demand ethical treatment by your elected officials!

Cell towers must be zoned using a Special Land Use permit
which has much more stringent rules that must be followed.
It includes and entire sction dedicated to cll towers!

DeKalb County Public Works Department
Director's and Administration Office

330 West Ponce de Leon Avenue, 4th Floor
Decatur, GA 30030
Director's Office - (404) 371-4778
FAX - (404) 371-4761

County of

Codified through
Ordinance No. 11-08, enacted June 28, 2011.
(Supp. No. 42)           

Applications in all cases where the telecommunications tower or antenna is a use which may be authorized by special administrative permit shall be made to and decided by the director of public works pursuant to all standards and requirements contained within this section, in Article V of this chapter, and any other applicable section of this chapter.
No new tower shall be permitted unless the applicant demonstrates to the reasonable satisfaction of the director of public works in the case of application for a special administrative permit or the board of commissioners in the case of application for a special land use permit that no existing tower or structure can accommodate the applicant's proposed antenna. Evidence shall be submitted at the time of application for special administrative permit or special land use permit, as the case may be, which demonstrates that no existing tower or structure can accommodate the applicant's proposed antenna…

Saturday, January 7, 2012

GTCO-ATL March on T-Mobile

(click headline for full text) 

The community members of Margaret Harris Comprehensive School for the disabled children of DeKalb County led a march today that started in their community, ran up LaVista Road and ended at the T-mobile sales location at the corner of Northlake Highway. 

This area of DeKalb County was first featured in our GTCO-ATL You-Tube video back in August 2011.  When we fought to have Brockett Elementary removed from the school board list, there were 86 cell towers in a 4-mile radius of our school. 

After the July 11 vote, we decided to stay involved with this issue and help other families who were likely not informed about the decision to place a tower near their home or school.   We released a YouTube video that we had originally expected we would need to continue our Brockett protest in front of the DeKalb County Office of Planning and Sustainability.
In May 2011 the Millers (pictured above as they went door to door
to gain petition signatures) were very much alone
on their road to uncovering the truth surrounding the
controversial decision by the DeKalb County School Board
to place cell phone towers on school grounds.
But, we were fortunate and several board members responded to our email and petition and voted yes on an ammendement that removed us from the list.  They also removed Medlock and Meadowview Elementary Schools.  The Medlock community had already been approached by T-mobile several months before the other schools and they were enticed with all kinds of promises like turning the tower into a monumnet with their mascot at the top  or making the tower look similar to a large pine tree.  Medlock's neighborhood association members were not interested and that likely led to the next approach T-mobile took  in this process.

At the end of the 2011 school term, when parents and kids are very busy, there are lots of papers coming home everyday, activities to attend at school and vacation plans in the works, the DCSS threw a monkey wrench into things for a lot of people.  A flyer came home in the backpacks of the kids that announced meetings about cell tower coverage that would be held at several school locations. 

"It was not until after the meeting that we learned the true intent was to place a tower at our school," says Cheryl Miller, GTCO-ATL co-founder.  "And every day since I learned that fact I have been involved in some way in this whole cell tower nightmare."

Today, they were joined by hundreds of protesters from all over the county who marched from their schools to
congregate outside a T-mobile location near Northlake Mall in Atlanta.
A big concern for Miller and her husband Paul was that the meetings were obviously intended to garner low attendence.  The Millers say that threw up red flags for both of them, so they set out to figure out what the school board thought they would have objected to, if they had actually attended the meeting.

"If one single person would have approached us to say this is why you should not be concerned about the cell tower and here is a list of the good things it will do for your school, I think we would have both been relieved and said 'Thanks.'  And that would be the end of it," said Paul Miller.

Instead the Millers have reported a plethora of conflicting stories and explanations that they received to their questions that range from officers of their PTA on up to the county commissioners and the DeKalb Office of Planning and Sustainability and CEO's office, which should normally be overseeing the zoning regulations on issues like these.

"With every step we took to try to figure out what was going on, we just found out more and more bad news," said Cheryl Miller.  "Bad for the parents, bad for the children and bad for the taxpayers of our county.  It has to end somewhere."
Local communities have printed signs to mark their
communities as being clearly against the cell tower
decision which has helped bring even  more awareness to
others in the county who may not have heard about the
issue or how the residents feel about being left out
of the decision-making process.
In the meantime, Miller stated, they will continue to follow the issue until the end, whatever that may be.  So, today's march was more of a step in the process than it was a victory for the Millers.

"We've wanted to hold a march to draw attention to T-mobile's poor citizenship and greed almost from the very beginning.  So, we were very happy to finally see that part of our mission realized today with the help of the awesome communities who are fighting on behalf of their schools."

Paul Miller says it is unfortunate that the towers may start going up as early at Jan. 12, the due diligence deadline assumed if there were inital contracts signed under Ramona Tyson back  in July as was indicated would be the case at the time.  He said it has been the most difficult to reach some of the South DeKalb schools who may not have as much ready access to computers and have unfortunately been overlooked by the more organized groups like the PTA-driven Briarlake and neighborhood association-driven Margaret Harris. 

Even Lakeside High School, which reportedly initiated the request with the school system to provide them with better cell phone reception, has a community action group assembled to protest the towers.  The issues surrounding the Get the Cell Out mission have been documented and discussed in a popular blog that has muliple contribors and invites discussion and feedback.  It is located at  From there, you can acess the countywide petition:,  to protest the cell towers slated for these public schools, along with Martin Luther King, Jr. High, Narvie J. Harris, Princeton, Jolly, Smoke Rise and Flat Rock.

The cell tower battle in DeKalb County has remained in
front of the public for months on end as the protest
continues to gain more momentum and the D.A. is reportedly
investigating the School Board for criminal activity.
The Millers have also worked with several groups in an effort to spread the word in South and Central DeKalb such as Unhappy Tazpayer and Voter, Concerned Citizens of South DeKalb and CHASE (Citizens for a Healthy and Safe Environment).
"We believe the key to stopping these towers is to unite the county in protest and show solidarity for the cause regardless of how any of the schools may feel about each other or how they think about various other issues," he says.  "We have studied how these deals go down in other parts of the country and the basic tactic that wins every time is 'divide and conquer.'"

He says they have tried to stay a step ahead of T-mobile, but that effort will not be successful if the DeKalb Planning Department or CEO does not get more involved.  The immediate concern is the claims being made that the school board can exempt T-mobile from our local zoning laws.  The next conccern is that the permit they plan to issue is one that does not require public input. So, the neighborhoods that were already overlooked by the school boad will again be ignored by the county.

"It kind of makes you wonder what you pay taxes for, or why we are fighting in a war to protect our rights if we are willing to give them up so easily, doesn't it?" says Miller. 

Miller states that through their group Get the Cell Out - Atlanta Chapter, they have been able to notify and reach out to all the affected communities and have assisted many of them with the process of sharing information with each other.  The result has uncovered a lot of information and conflicting stories that may even catch the attention of the District Attorney or Special Grand Jury in light of their recent announcement that they are looking at the DeKalb School Board very closely.

Children at elementary schools across DeKalb County, who are likely too young to really know what a cell tower is, are getting an early education on the right to peaceful protest.  Parents say they are saddened that they have to teach their kids this lesson with an issue that involves their own school.  These children at Briarlake Elementary School in Decatur will likely lose their playground or their outdoor classroom as a result of the school board's actions.
While the Millers say they applaud the efforts of the schools who participated in the demonstration today, they want to remind every school to be vigilant in keeping an eye out for any activity on the proposed sites and continue to hound the zoning office until they get some answers about the permit process.

The next step?  The Millers say they can't reveal all of their game plan, mainly because it can change from day to day depending on what is learned or what T-mobile does next.  But, they have suggested that the fight will continue and is actually gaining credibility. 

There might be legal battles ahead for some communities while the Millers are hoping to make positive contributions to the future. 

"We hope to work together with our state legislators to enact some type of law or referendum either locally or statewide to stop this process from repeating itself," says Cheryl Miller.  "We're seeing more progressive states like Californina and admired the progress they are making in order to protect their children and that's what we hope to be able to do here."

For more, see this story at CBS Atlanta: